The Taste of Place

In “The Taste of Place”, Trubek explores the various ways that the culture and environment of a place can impact the way that food and drink is created and enjoyed. Taste is defined as more than just another sense but instead as an important part of the identity of a place – being affected by “sociality, spirituality, aesthetics, and more”. This concept originated in France, where it is known as terroir. Although terroir originated in France and is a fundamental part of how French people perceive their food, a similar connectedness between geography and taste can now be seen in many other cultures around the world. One thing that I found interesting was that the “taste of place” idea has spread to other countries as a defense mechanism against the globalization of food – being able to identify something as distinctly regional today is important for maintaining a feeling of identity.

In the reading, Trubek explores French experience with food and locality, later comparing it to the experience in Vermont. In Vermont, the changing landscape of American food contributed to the decline of locally farmed goods – however the Vermont Food Network (VFN), has helped to change that by providing farmers with local markets and stressing the concept of “eating the landscape”. Somewhat similarly, in Italy a group called Slow Food pushes for the preservation of tradition in Italian food and wine.

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